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The Derpy Duckling

How I finally learned to be a responsible adult … quacking and screaming

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With this life in my hands, I felt unstoppable. Every social woe that I harbored – every bit of financial dread – slowly drifted away. For the first time in my life, I felt truly responsible. If I gave up on myself, Derpy died. That's all there was to it: We absolutely needed each other.

Weeks went by, and I began to understand nature's law. Derpy would grow, want to start his own family, maybe run like an idiot into his own busy lane of traffic. Despite how many times I'd laugh my ass off introducing him as "my duck in a box," Derpy deserved better than cardboard walls and the explosive thrill of watching me play Final Fantasy for 10 hours straight. Nobody deserves that.

In one of the saddest drives of my life, I took Derpy to Fallin' Pines Critter Rescue in Christmas and let him go live among his kind. I was told that he seemed to have a neurological disorder (he was Derpy after all), and was promised that all he needed was social interaction with other ducks to build up his neuro-something-something. Whatever. I'm not a duck psychiatrist. Either way, it seemed like we both needed the exact same thing in order to finally grow up. I was sad to leave.

It's been a few years since Derpy and I were a "thing" and I think about him every day. It's strange how one belligerent, drunken drive home can change your life forever. Wait. That sounds terrible, and I don't recommend it. But you never know when you might find ducks. And responsibility.

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